Tag Archives: laughing matter

Merv’s Blog, May 2012

Can Laughter Count as Exercise?…ABSOLUTELY

There was an article in the Huffington Post on the 5th of May that asked “Can Laughter Count as Exercise?”(http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/05/laughter-exercise_n_1400616.html) The conclusion that they reach is “While a laugh attack sure feels good, there is little evidence that suggests laughing can effectively replace a workout” What a load of rubbish. What don’t these people know about laughter or more importantly what do we know that we should be telling them.

In the past…

In the past Laughter Yoga has been heavily promoted as a fun, happy, loving, and connecting exercise. All of these are considered as “soft” concepts that are easy to feel but hard to measure. Discussing Laughter Yoga in this way assisted the common perception that we were all more than a little weird and the concept as a passing fad.

In the present…

More recently we have positioned Laughter Yoga as a medical alternative or better still an additional therapy to whatever people are already undertaking to deal with certain medical conditions. The big topics in this field have been cancer, heart attacks and strokes, and depression. These have helped us to become a more serious option with much clinical and scientific evidence to support us. Even in the Huffington article it tells how “results showed a 30 to 40 percent increase in diameter of the heart’s blood vessels…and those changes to blood vessels are all part of an important process that helps the body regulate blood flow and reduce inflammation—clearly this is no laughing matter” I agree.

In the future…

Finally the debate gets around to comparing Laughter Yoga with sport. It states that “a person would need to be seriously in stitches (for hours on end) to see any real muscle toning or conditioning effects.” Ah so it is in fact exercise just not in the format that the author defines it. So how do most people define exercise? Most would certainly see it in the physical sense. I see it differently.

Laughter Yoga as exercise

I see exercise as the body changing due to exercise in the aerobic sense. People who attend a Laughter Club have proven that their heart rate doubles in the first ten minutes, their oxygen capacity triples, and blood circulation increases dramatically while blood pressure decreases. Now that’s what I call true health.

Health is not just about being “not sick”

Too often we rate ourselves as being healthy just because we are not sick. True health comes from conducting activities that result in the proactive promotion of health away from being just not sick. That’s what Laughter Yoga is. Oh and by the way the very successful female tennis player Serena Williams when she was in Australia recently said that she developed her abdominal muscles by laughing as “ab crunches” are way too hard. So with all of this considered when someone asks you “Can laughter count as exercise?” I hope you can confidently answer…ABSOLUTELY ! ! !

Read more about Merv Neal

LOL: Why You Should Laugh Even When You Don’t Feel Like It

For family caregivers, the mountains of laundry, the endless messes that need cleaned up, the rushing to doctor’s appointments, the complete surrender of one’s personal life and the painful process of watching a loved one’s decline is no laughing matter. You may feel like crying more often than you feel like laughing.

But many experts say that laughing in even the grimmest situations is good for you, both mentally and physically. Laughter releases stress, strengthens the immune system, improves sleep, diffuses tension, reduces pain and boosts “happy chemistry.” Laughter is the nemesis of tension; you can’t hold on to tension when you laugh.

Read the full article here

Why the older generation don’t get jokes

It’s no laughing matter, but the reason why grumpy old men behave in just such a way may finally have been pinpointed. Older adults have a harder time getting jokes as they age because of memory and reasoning problems, according to a new study. The researchers tested 40 healthy adults aged over 65 against 40 undergraduate students with exercises in which they had to correctly complete jokes and funny stories. When asked to choose the correct punchline for verbal jokes, younger participants performed six per cent better than the pensioners.

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News: NBC29 (Virginia) reports on Laughter Yoga

They say laughter is the best medicine. Combine that with the health benefits of yoga and you have a unique form of exercise that is no laughing matter. An exercise studio in Charlottesville’s ACAC Fitness Center (Virginia) was transformed into a laugh factory Friday.

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